Don’t break your bond…

Frost’s voice summons the near past even as it commands the present. “When you blow air into this soapy mixture, the reduced surface tension allows the solution to stretch readily around the airflow, creating bubbles,” he explains. “The remaining surface tension continues shaping and supporting the bubble structure, pulling the liquid film into the most efficient shape—a sphere.”

You shudder as the paperclip resumes trailing over your exposed skin, making lazy loops along your collarbone. Frost continues his erudite lecture, taking his sweet but moving without hesitation, either oblivious to your disquiet or happily ignoring it.

“The ideal shape for a given volume is a sphere, because it encloses the volume while minimizing surface area. Hence the near perfect orbs produced by the soapy solution.”

A second click sounds, activating bottle B in a similar gurgle before it begins releasing a stream of bubbles, as well, tracking a chaotic yet determined path.

“Now, glycerin decreases surface tension less than soap, so the molecules are still more attracted to each other. Bubbles formed demonstrate this more erratic attraction with their irregular, rippled shapes.”

You stare at the bubbles, struck by the accuracy of his descriptions despite your spiraling dread. There’s a distinctive metallic glint in his eyes as he traces the paperclip even lower. Bit by bit, in a progression so slow it makes the anticipation feel like a razor’s edge scraping across your fraying nerves. Your breath catches as he dips the modest piece of stationery further, guiding it over the top of your naked, now heaving breast.

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